Summary: A series of vignettes highlighting Tonks' attempts at gathering information on Remus. Set during OOTP.
A/N: Wow, three posts in one day. A record? This chapter is actually a bit longer than the first two... Sorry if there are still a lot of mistakes, but I got incredibly tired just as I began proofing this. Props to yenni_babie for Ginny's comment about Grindylows.
Conversations About A Werewolf
3. Ginny Weasley and Hermione Granger
“Hey, Tonks! Tonks!”
Tonks paused in her descent of Grimmauld Place, backing up slowly and attempting to locate the room from which her name had been called. She glanced into the first bedroom on her right, and saw that Ginny and Hermione were sitting on their beds, the latter pouring over The Standard Book of Spells, Grade Five.
“Wotcher, girls! Did one of you call me?”
“Yeah, I did, at least five times,” said Ginny. “What’s on your mind?”
“Oh, nothing,” she replied hastily. “Just a bit knackered, that’s all.”
Ginny gave her a disbelieving look, but did not pursue the topic, and Tonks was grateful for that. As sweet as the girls were, she was keen to get back to her thoughts. Which, before she’d been interrupted, were completely focused on her last meeting with Remus.
As usual, Remus had given Tonks agonizingly little information about himself. But she had tripped, and he caught her around the waist. And although she was most certainly not interested in Remus that way, she couldn’t quite fight the butterflies fluttering in her stomach at the memory of his touch.
Butterflies fluttering? She thought with a wry smile. More like hippogriffs stomping...
“Tonks!” called Ginny.
“What?” she said quickly, snapping out of her reverie.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” asked Hermione slowly.
“I’m fine,” she promised. “What can I do for you two?”
“I was just wondering if you could show Hermione that thing you did yesterday with your hair.”
“Oh, you mean this?” she asked, scrunching up her face in concentration. Suddenly, her pink spikes lengthened, leaving her with shoulder-length blond locks and thick sideburns.
“Doesn’t she look just like Herman Wintringham from the Weird Sisters?” exclaimed Ginny.
Hermione frowned. “I suppose. Though that’s not exactly a compliment...”
Tonks threw her head back and laughed. She was used to morphing into strange characters, often soliciting much worse responses than Hermione’s.
“Right then, I’d best be off,” she began, turning to head out the door. Then she paused, contemplating the girls for a moment. “You two had Remus as a professor, right?”
“Yep,” replied Ginny nonchalantly.
“Was he any good?”
“Oh, the best!” cried Hermione. “Are you thinking of taking lessons with him? You really should, we’ve never had a DADA professor like him!”
“Oh, yeah, he taught us loads! There was the lesson with the Boggart – you must have heard about that, right?” Tonks nodded, smiling at the thought of Snape dressed in an old woman’s clothing. “What else? Red Caps, Hinkypunks, and, oh, Grindylows, of course...”
“Hermione, she’s obviously not asking about his experience with Grindylows,” said Ginny, exasperated.
“What are you talking about? She’s –“ Ginny gave Hermione a pointed look, and then comprehension washed over the girl’s features. “Oooh!”
“What?” demanded Tonks.
Neither one of the girls responded. Instead, Ginny mused, “He’s not bad looking...”
“No, he’s quite handsome,” agreed Hermione.
“Better looking than the other professors.”
“Except maybe Professor Lockhart.”
“Oh yeah, of course,” agreed Ginny easily. “Then again, anyone’s better-looking than Mad-Eye!”
The two girls laughed, and Tonks joined in, albeit a bit cautiously. They were treading on thin ice here, and she was keen to steer the conversation as far away from the teenage girls’ opinions of Remus as possible. Because it made her uncomfortable, of course. Not jealous. Just uncomfortable, that was it.
“Where are Harry and Ron?” she asked in what she hoped was a casual voice.
“Oh, I dunno,” said Ginny, waving a hand dismissively. “So you fancy Lupin then, Tonks?”
“Ginny!” gasped Hermione as Tonks flushed.
“You can’t ask Tonks that!”
“Why not? It’s not like she was our professor.”
“I know, it’s just she’s... she’s...”
“An adult,” finished Tonks sternly. “That’s not appropriate to ask, Ginny.”
“Fine,” Ginny replied with a knowing smirk.
Tonks was about to open her mouth to respond firmly again, when a familiar, raspy voice behind her made her jump. She turned slowly, ignoring the huge grins on Hermione and Ginny’s faces as she did so.
“Remus,” she breathed.
“Hello, Tonks. Ginny, Hermione.” He nodded at the girls. “I thought I heard my name?”
“Yeah, we were just –“
“Discussing your days as DADA professor,” Tonks said quickly, before Ginny could finish speaking.
Out of the corner of her eye, Tonks noticed the girls exchange smirks and cringed inwardly. However, Remus’ gaze seemed to be fixed on only her at the moment, and Tonks was optimistic that he hadn’t taken note of the girls’ behavior.
“I hope you don’t think too low of me,” he said quietly.
“Low of you?” Tonks repeated, baffled. “Hermione and Ginny were just sharing all the great stuff you taught them! That Boggart story gets me every time,” she said with a chuckle.
“Yeah,” agreed Ginny, “we were saying how you were one of the best professors we’ve had so far!”
Remus couldn’t quite hide the touched look on his face. “Well, thank you, girls.” After an awkward moment of silence, he cleared his throat. “Erm, anyway, Tonks, I didn’t get the chance to compliment your interesting look earlier. It’s very... err, unique.”
“What?” said Tonks blankly, reaching her hand up and expecting to feel the usual pink spikes. However, she let out a gasp when her hand made contact with her sideburns. Tonks ignored the girls as they fruitlessly held back sniggers. A prickling heat rose to her cheeks as Tonks scrunched her face up and returned her hair to normal.
Remus nodded, relief evident in his voice. “I hope you aren't too insulted, but I must admit, I'm much more partial to the pink and... not the sideburns.”
“Me too,” she mumbled.
“Well, I think I should head downstairs now. Kingsley’s waiting for me. It was nice talking with you three.”
“I’ll come with you, I was just about to leave when you came in,” said Tonks.
After they exchanged their goodbyes, Tonks followed Remus into the dark hallway. Hermione and Ginny's laughs followed them down the stairs.
“You know, she could do a lot worse than him,” came Hermione’s unintentionally loud reply.
Tonks cringed, and gave Remus a sideways glance. The hippogriffs were back in her stomach, stomping on her intestines this time. However, though he chuckled slightly, he said nothing on the subject. Tonks was suddenly very grateful for his silence. She didn’t know what she would say if Remus inquired about the meaning behind the girl’s statement.
Maybe she did fancy Remus Lupin after all. But just a little.
1. Mad-Eye Moody
2. Kingsley Shacklebolt
3. Ginny Weasley and Hermione Granger
4. Molly Weasley
5. Severus Snape
6. Sirius Black
7. Mundungus Fletcher
8. Remus Lupin